Thais Plan to Grow Sugar, Castor Oil in Northwest Provinces

A group of Thai businessmen plan to build a $200 million sugar and castor oil factory in Cam­bo­dia’s northwest provinces.

General Mean Sarin, deputy commander of the RCAF in­fan­try, said the businessmen were drawn to Cambodia because of its open land and soil, which is good for growing sugar cane and the castor oil plant—a tall, tropical shrub. The factory would also buy castor oil plants and sugar cane from nearby farmers, said Mean Surin.

The businessmen have partners abroad and would export much of their product.

The Thai business group ar­rived in Cambodia last month to investigate the country’s laws and will propose the plant to the government on their next trip.

The businessmen would grow castor oil plants and sugar cane on plantations in Koh Kong, Pur­sat and Banteay Meanchey pro­vin­ces. “We decided to produce in these areas because after they are produced they are easily transported to Thailand, where we have partners,” Mean Sarin said.

He said the factory would pay higher prices for sugar cane and castor oil plants, benefiting all farmers who grow the plants. The factory would also help boost the income of impoverished farmers who live along the Cam­bo­dian-Thai border.

Minister of Defense Tea Banh said he supported the factory since it is good for people and Cambodia has a lot of available land. “It is good for the farmers as well,” he said.

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